Prasanna Mishra

Suddenly, a lady from Kalahandi District, Archana Nag, has become the talk of Bhubaneswar. Her story is one of rags to riches. While her fast journey to the world of affluence and luxury could be a case of ease of doing business in Bhubaneswar, it also reveals the underbelly of the capital city of a poor state of 45 million people most of whom are fed with one rupee rice even after 22 years of rule by the regional party. 

The lady is now the cynosure of the media and sensational stories keep coming in about her activities that brought her both wealth and status within a short time. She is supposed to have friends in right number and at right place. Her powerful patrons reportedly ranged from film producer to bureaucrats, from political leaders to affluent contractors. Involvement of more than 25 political leaders including 18 MLAs, mostly belonging to the ruling party, is being talked about. 

Also Read: From tribal-dominated Kalahandi to Bhubaneswar – Journey of lady blackmailer Archana Nag

Role of police is now being discussed as also issues like why the lady was arrested in a hurry, why she has not been taken to police remand for interrogation, why the many victims of her manipulations are not showing up before the police to narrate their stories and unravel secrets that helped Archana increase her wealth and influence. 

Archana model of entrepreneurship, however, raises a few issues to ponder over. Its immediate impact is on the tenacious, the industrious, the highly educated youths who keep struggling awaiting Dame Luck’s smile. They stand disillusioned. One feels convinced that in the present state of decay of societal values, it’s the sleazeball that has the highest chance of entrepreneurial success. Her facile success points to wilting of righteousness and the viscous emerging winner. Her case shows how wealth creation process need not necessarily have to be a painstaking and arduous task. It shows there are shortcuts to prosperity. These unpalatable realities unfortunately promote negativity in the society. Belief in rule of law and fairness in government diminishes.

Also Read: Take a close look at lady blackmailer Archana Nag’s life and modus operandi

If Government is committed to reversing this widely-held perception, it must walk the talk, come down heavily on ‘Archanas’, their patrons and accomplices irrespective of their parentage, social and political connections. Police needs to be given a free hand to act swift and effective. Agencies handling economic offence matters need to act fast. The prevailing perception, however, is different. People, by and large, feel that the political characters, if involved, would most likely be protected and the present uproar would be made to subside. This poignant impression is indicative of the pervading state of melancholy in an unjust society where the guilty is not necessarily punished. 

Also Read: SDJM court reserves order on lady blackmailer Archana Nag's bail plea

It is this vital issue the Government of the day must address as this is the quintessence of governance. Archana case is important for this reason. It is worth recalling that  on the occasion of the Party’s 20th Foundation Day in December 2017, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik exhorted his party members to be simple and high thinking and serve people, who, he said, were the ‘ultimate masters’. He advised them to dedicate their lives to ‘Maa, Mati and Manisa’ (Mother, Motherland, People) and asked them to respect people’s sentiment and meet the promises made to them. The reported involvement of quite a few of the ruling party legislators in the sordid saga of sleaze, however, runs counter to the Achar Samhita (Code of Conduct) prescribed by the Party’s Supremo.

A word about Raj Dharma seems relevant at this juncture. "How should a King behave?" Yudhistira asked Bhisma. "Righteousness," Bhisma answered, is the watch word of a King. His senses should be perfectly under control. Poison kills but one man, so does a weapon. But, Bhisma said, wicked counsels destroy an entire kingdom with kings and subjects. A king can easily become great by doing just two things: refraining from harsh speech and disregarding those that are wicked. 

The wicked must be disregarded. The role of the party leaders involved must be thoroughly and swiftly probed and marching orders served on them. This is what the society wants; it wants to be reassured that crime does not pay. Naveen Patnaik with his stature and long years as Chief Minister and the party president owes it to the people who love him. Righteousness is the key word, to quote Bhisma. Raj Dharma is all about it. While everyone involved in this affair must be brought under the long arms of law, the party men involved must be politically punished and swiftly.

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. The author can be reached at

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